Letter on TEC’s Middle East policy stirs controversy

From Episcopal News Service:

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings have said that a draft letter pressing the Executive Council to intervene in the implementation of the Episcopal Church’s policies on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is extremely unhelpful and disregards due legislative processes.

“Just as we don’t proof-text Scripture, we don’t proof-text resolutions, and our polity does not provide Executive Council as an appellate process,” Jennings told ENS after seeing a copy of the draft letter. “Each triennium, however, faithful Episcopalians who disagree with a decision of General Convention work to craft new legislation for a new convention, and that process is open to all of us.”

“Our work must begin by listening to those who live and work and have their being in the midst of the current conflicts, and equally attend to the conflicts in our own communities,” Jefferts Schori told ENS. “We cannot build a lasting peace by directing or imposing strategies on others. We can encourage non-violent and transparent methods like those Jesus and his disciple Martin Luther King, Jr. did.”

The as-yet unsigned draft letter, titled “A Prophetic Challenge to the Executive Council,” includes a date of Jan. 21 to coincide with the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and invoking King’s call for justice.

Matthew Davies also reports that: “the Rev. Canon Brian Grieves of Hawaii, listed in the document’s properties as an author, declined to go on the record until the statement had been released or to share the latest version.”

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